Un desa/dspd forum Disability and development – Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development Nairobi, 28-30 October 2015 Case studies


Fig: People with disability are forcing to use the main road due to lack of accessible pedestrian



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Fig: People with disability are forcing to use the main road due to lack of accessible pedestrianhttp://www.htmlpublish.com/newtestdocstorage/docstorage/ebb7edf30a0149a8b967ebbcbdbb663e/case%20study%20nepal_images/case%20study%20nepal2x1.jpg

Source of funds:

Asian Development Bank



Brief background to the project:

Situation of accessibility in urban area of Kathmandu is so bad that one can hardly imagine how the person with could move in such environment. The simple component of accessibility like curb ramp, tactile block, traffic light and safe zebra crossing zone which can be easily achieved with little bit more consideration if we think from beginning have long been neglected or overlooked. There are so many reason behind it but due to the lack of this simple things people with disability either being forced to constrain themselves in their limited surrounding or forced to risk their life in danger in main road.

The fundamental mobility right of people with disability as citizens has either been overlooked or neglected since long time. But from fast 10 years as Nepal practicing the open democratic system there are several of self-help group grown which are active and working very hard for their right. The disabled people organization (DPOs) are some of them which are advocating the accessibility time to time and organizing campaign in different ways. As result we can see some positive changes in urban environment to improve the access of person with disabilities. The current pedestrian improvement project funded by ADB (Asian Development Bank) and implemented by Kathmandu metropolitan city is one of the good example which is addressing the urban accessibility issues.

Fig 2: Members of DPOs protesting in municipality building for barrier free urban pedestrian
Fig 3: People with disabilities observing the effectiveness of it as user expert with project engineerhttp://www.htmlpublish.com/newtestdocstorage/docstorage/ebb7edf30a0149a8b967ebbcbdbb663e/case%20study%20nepal_images/case%20study%20nepal3x1.jpg


Overall objectives of the project/programme:

Overall objectives of the project/programme:

Improve the condition of pedestrian in Kathmandu valley by incorporating the accessible feature like curb ramp for wheelchair user and tactile block for visually impaired


Process/strategy to implement the project/programme:

In this on-going project people with disability are equally involved as user expert to insure the usability of the product.



Changes achieved:

Due to the result we can see some changes in pedestrian like tactile block and curb ramp and people with disabilities are comfortably using it and feel safe in while waking in urban area. http://www.htmlpublish.com/newtestdocstorage/docstorage/ebb7edf30a0149a8b967ebbcbdbb663e/case%20study%20nepal_images/case%20study%20nepal4x1.jpgFig 4: Visually impaired person walking due to help of tactile block



How change was monitored and evaluated:

Shortcomings and persistent challenges identified in the implementation of the project/programme: Narrow road, vendor using the footpath, lack of awareness about the issues with disabilities, unskilled manpower who work on field



Other lessons learned:

1.Continues advocacy and awareness is essential to raise the issues of urban accessibility in society, and DPOs can play very important role to publicize the issues and to create moral pressure on the government

2.The use of person with disability and their group as user expert play very vital role to ensure the quality of work for it was aimed for

3. A clear cut easy to understand guidelines and mandatory provision by laws is need for the good implementation of the project

4.Sensitization programs or training is need both for government officer and technical persons

5.Sharing of success stories in public medias is need for replication and win the public appreciation


Country: Nigeria

Name of Organistaion/Government entity: Human and Organizational Resources Development Centre (HORDC)

Project/Programme title: Advocacy for inclusive Disability Laws, Policies and Programmes in Nigeria
Initiative selected as good practice example: Lagos State Urban Transport Project (LUTP)
Thematic area of good practice example: Accessible Public Transport System
Specific location: Lagos state, Southwest of Nigeria
Duration of project/programme: 6 years
Beneficiaries of good practice example:About 20 million inhabitants of Lagos state amongst whom are over 2 million persons with disabilities and unspecified population of elderly persons, pregnant women and children
Implementing agency/agencies:

  • Disability Policy and Advocacy Initiative (DPAI)

  • Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Lagos State Chapter

  • Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA)

  • Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA)

  • Lagos State Ministry of Works

  • Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.


Source of funds:

  • The initiative selected as “good practice example” has been funded through the World Bank, private sector investment and the annual budget of the state government.

  • The 6-year Disability Policy Advocacy Project has been funded through the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) under its State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) programme in Nigeria


Brief background to the project:

Although Nigeria signed and ratified the UNCRPD in 2010, the country is yet to fulfil its obligation to domesticate its provisions through a National Act of Parliament. As such, persons with disabilities (PWDs) suffered various forms of exclusions including lack of access to public infrastructures and facilities including roads, pedestrian bridges, public transport, public buildings, recreational and sport centres, public schools, housing, etc. The entire physical environment is virtually planned and developed with out any sensitivity to the accessibility needs of PWDs in Nigeria.

In Lagos state, Before 2010, Persons with disabilities are neither consulted nor participated in policy design, development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes. Neither did There exist a dedicated Agency for the purpose of managing disability affairs as required by the UNCRPD.

On the 8th of March, 2010, In Lagos state, with support from DFID-SAVI, HORDC joined other Disabled People’s organizations (DPOs), mainstream civil society groups and passionate individuals to form an Advocacy Partnership for disability-inclusive laws, policies and programmes in Lagos state. The advocacy Partnership was formed with a view to influencing the enactment and implementation of disability laws, policies and programmes in Lagos state; and to replicate achievements in other parts of the country.


Overall objectives of the project/programme:

The advocacy project was designed with the broad objective of promoting, enhancing and sustaining the inclusion and accessibility of PWDs in all sectors of the society through inclusive laws, policies and programmes in line with the UNCRPD.


Process/strategy to implement the project/programme:

  • The project adopted the partnership approach to advocacy. Through this approach, relevant agencies of government were targeted and constructively engaged as “partners” through information sharing; capacity-building and awareness raising. Civil society members of the partnership leveraged on the each other’s strength to engage relevant influencial policy-makers including legislators to achieve the project objectives.

  • the social model of disability was adopted as the theoretical framework for the advocacy in line with the UNCRPD to guide development of advocacy and public awareness messages and to influence positive attitudinal change by policy-makers towards disability issues.

  • The partnership adopted different advocacy strategies including advocacy visits, use of position papers and factsheets, policy reviews/impact assessments,media engagements, etc to identify policy gaps and profer relevant remedies.


Changes achieved:

  • The first and most comprehensive state-level disability law in Nigeria, “Lagos State Special People’s Law” was enacted by the state government within 18 months of the advocacy between March, 2010 and June 2011.

  • The first ever dedicated state-level Agency on disability in Nigeria, “Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs” was established on 9th July, 2012.

  • The Lagos State Physical Planning and Urban Development Law was reviewed to effectively accommodate disability-inclusion and accessibility requirements including “ disability-accessible building code”

  • For the first time in Nigeria, a State Government/Civil Society Partnership was formed as the Lagos state government norminated Desk Officers to represent it at CSO advocacy meetings and programmes. In addition, PWDs and DPOs are now regularly consulted and invited to participate in policy designs, planning and implementation processes.

  • The implementation of relevant provisions of the disability law are being mainstreamed in key sectors in Lagos state including physical planning and urban development, works and infrastructure development, transport, housing, education, health and even the electoral process respectively.

  • Specifically, the following inclusive and accessibility changes occurred in the physical and urban development of the state:

  • entrances of all existing government buildings are being fitted with ramps, while new building are constructed with relevant physical accessibility provisions;

  • all newly constructed roads are provided with accessible sidewalks fitted with ramps;

  • newly constructed pedestrian bridges are fitted with ramps;

  • parking lots are being designated for PWDs at appropriate and accessible locations in all government premises and public places;

  • an intermodal urban transport with accessible shelters, buses, trains, jetties and airports are being designed, developed and implemented in Lagos state. At the moment,the Bus Rapid Transport scheme (BRT) is operated with accessible shelters and free bus rides for PWDs;

  • The re-development of urban slums, remodelling of cities and towns, and the design and development of new cities in Lagos state (such as the Eko Antlantic City Project) are implemented with reasonable disability inclusion and accessibility requirements in line with the state’s disability laws;

  • Public buildings and premises such as banks, hotels, shopping mulls,etc are also complying to inclusivity and accessibility requirements such as through fitting of ramps in their enterances and designation of parking lots.


How change was monitored and evaluated:

  • The partnership monitor its activities through the indicators and targets set against its work plan objectives, and ouctomes;

  • The partnership conducts annual budget monitoring and review with a view to tracking appropriation and expenditures on disability-based projects, programmes and policies;

  • The partnership also conducts annual policy reviews and citizens impact assessments;


Shortcomings and persistent challenges identified in the implementation of the project/programme:

  • The development and maintenance of an accurate disability data-base (DDB) is central to the implementation of any advocacy project and any inclusive and accessible urban development programme. Accordingly, the inability of the project to successfully push for the development of an accurate DDB and the seeming incapacitation of the state government to pursue this objective remain a key challenge to the effective inclusion of PWDs in the urban development programmes of Lagos state.

  • Due to capacity gaps, there is a seeming lop-sidedness of the project’s impacts towards physical disabilities while other disability types (blind, deaf and intellectual disabilities) are not adequately captured in the design of projects. For instance, blind and deaf persons are still confronted with the challenges of accessing public information on signages, road signs and maps, public utility user guides, etc. Also, accessibility needs of blind and deaf persons on roads, public buildings, etc are yet to be achieved.

  • Again, due to capacity and technology gaps, there is persistence in the challenge of accuracy and precision especially in measurements of accessibility features of infrastructures such as ramp slopes, wheelchair accessible door-ways, etc.

  • The challenge of poor funding for disability projects have not been effectively overcome due to poor prioritization of disability issues. For instance, the use of accessible buses and trains are considered too “expensive” to acquire and maintain.

  • DPOs and CSOs in Nigeria are mostly confronted with the challenges of funding and institutional capacities to sustain effective policy reviews, monitoring and evaluation, as well as massive public awareness.



Other lessons learned:

  • It is observed that beyond the achievement of the enactment of a disability law and establishment of a disability agency in Lagos state, there is need to advocate for the review of the Lagos state longterm development planning instrument, “the State Development Plan” in which should be embedded a disability-inclusive and accessible Urban Development Master Plan.

  • an inclusive and accessible urban development programme (especially in a country with high infrastructural deficit and highly disturted urban planning like Nigeria) is highly capital intensive. It will therefore require the setting-up of a “Special Fund” drawn from international development agencies, private sector and the budget of the state government.

  • Similarly, from the Lagos state experience in Nigeria, it is observed that governments in poor countries may appear reluctant to expend so much to rebuild or remodel infrastructure and cities just to enhance inclusion and accessibility for PWDs. As such, beyond the conduct of advocacies, innovative and strategic approaches are required to identify cost effective methods of inclusive and accessible urban development in poor countries.


Case study on good practice in accessibility: Experience from the Philippines
Accessibility in the Philippines has been an issue which is in the center of the struggle of persons with disabilities who believe that this very basic right has for decades, been deliberately denied to them and was a major stumbling block in their ability to realize their fullest potentials as contributing members of their families and communities. The country’s urban areas have seen unprecedented levels of development during the last two decades. However, accessibility has remained among the areas that required attention until Filipinos with disabilities thought they needed to be more proactive in their demand that their right to access be recognized and respected.
One of the biggest business companies in the country is SM Shoemart which operates close to fifty (50) medium and up-scale malls in various cities. Persons with disabilities thought that if SM Shoemart can make its facilities inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities, it can open the door for other business entities and even government, to recognize and appreciate the value of being inclusive. PWDs have reached out to SM and a partnership was forged and put into action.
Today, SM Shoemart has become a model of accessibility not only in the Philippines but in Asia and is proud about being so as part of fulfilling its so-called corporate social responsibility. It has created a department within the company which ensures that any SM mall that is constructed must adhere strictly into the standards set for by the concept of Universal Design. The company even took a step further in its desire to include persons with disabilities by ensuring that representatives of PWDs sit in its committee on accessibility. Regularly, staff of the company, down to the level of those who maintain restrooms and man elevators, undergo regular disability orientation and sensitivity trainings to make sure they understand what it means to be inclusive. These employees know exactly what the Wheelchair Sign implies: that people with less mobility including persons with disabilities, must have priority in using lifts/elevators and restrooms among the most basic of SM malls’ facilities.
A study conducted by the company revealed that business has been better in spite of tough competition in this field, as a result of SM shoemart’s corporate commitment to be inclusive. More families have been spending time in the malls, tagging along their members with disabilities and the elderly. More fun, family bonding, more shopping and dining and even watching movies by families has brought into SM’s business more revenues. As families spend more time together, their spending increased. Today, SM is so encouraged to be inclusive that it has created a program called SM Cares to provide additional services such as charging stations for wheelchairs and other assistive devices in a designated area in every SM Mall. The accessibility of SM malls is a model that has forced other public places to follow suit.
The Philippine Government has recently recognized and given an award to SM Shoemart for being a model in accessibility. Government has likewise encouraged other members of the business community in the Philippines to emulate the example set by SM. Being inclusive is finally recognized and appreciated as a good business practice. There is so much more that needs to be done to promote accessibility in the Philippines but the important initial steps have been made and things will only keep improving especially with persons with disabilities’ increased awareness and appreciation of accessibility as a basic right that has to be provided, realized and respected.

Country: Qatar

Name of Organization/Government entity: Tawasol

Project/Programme title: The Development of an Arabic Symbol Dictionary
Initiative selected as good practice example: Development of Arabic Symbol Dictionary
Thematic area of good practice example: Language and Cultural issues in ensuring Access
Specific location: Doha
Duration of project/programme: 3 years
Beneficiaries of good practice example: Arabic speakers with communication and/or literacy impairments
Implementing agency/agencies: Mada, Hamad Medical Corporation, University of Southampton

Source of funds: Qatar National Research Fund
Brief background to the project:
For individuals with special needs the development of communication and literacy skills is critical to a successful education and daily living support. An essential tool for these skills can be graphic symbol sets in which images or pictograms are used to convey meaning to enhance or replace speech and language as well as provide a support to text. However most symbols sets are derived from a language and cultural context making the task of cultural transference difficult, and leaving children with special needs unable to access the resources they need.

To address the challenge for Arabic speakers the Tawasol project has been established, a QNRF funded project to produce an Arabic Symbol Dictionary.

The symbol set is produced under creative commons license allowing unrestricted use by individuals, in schools and other organisations. The symbols with their lexical entries will support Modern Standard Arabic, Qatari Dialect and English. The project has completed two years to date with the final year starting in December.
Overall objectives of the project/programme:
The project aims to ensure that those with speech and language disorders and literacy difficulties in the State of Qatar have access to the communication resources they require to gain a voice and work towards greater personal autonomy
Process/strategy to implement the project/programme:

The project was established as a collaboration between three entities. A work plan was identified which sought to review existing symbol sets, identify core Arabic word lists, create a design specification for Arabic symbols, produce and distribute the symbols and establish resources to ensure uptake of the symbols during and after the project lifespan.

One of the interesting innovations in the project was a crowd sourced approach to the selection of symbols where consensus could not be achieved. This allowed a significantly wider group of Arabic speakers to provide input to the most appropriate means of communicating concepts. Voting sessions are available on both a face to face basis and online to facilitate the widest possibly engagement with stakeholders. Many of those voting on the symbols will become the professional users of the final product. 

Changes achieved:
To date some 250 symbols have been approved for distribution, these have been aligned to Modern Standard Arabic, Qatari dialect and English. The design brief for Arabic symbols has been confirmed allowing for design rules to be created that will help in building a sustainable dictionary with options to add further vocabulary at the end of the project. The project is on track to complete well over 500 symbols by the end of the project funding.
How change was monitored and evaluated:
An international advisory board was created with the remit to review progress and ensure that the symbol dictionary was suitable for the objective. By engaging directly with a wide range of stakeholders, professionals and those with communication needs throughout the span of the project it has been possible to ensure that progress in the number of symbols and their relevance to users has been maintained.
Shortcomings and persistent challenges identified in the implementation of the project/programme:
The project has sought to address from the very beginning the need to design with distribution in mind. Online distribution will be critical, along with the need to work with existing symbol sets such as ARASAAC to maximise compatibility. Engagement with the manufacturers of software and devices that integrate symbols into communication devices has been considered essential to ensure that the dictionary content is presented in a way that makes implementation in solutions as seamless as possible.
Creative commons open licensing is designed to make the use of the symbols in as wide a range of applications as easy as possible.
Other lessons learned:
The importance of engaging professionals with a shared cultural experience to end users was essential in developing effective symbols and a core vocabulary. This shared identity helped to ensure the relevance of symbols and that the products would have a high degree of functional familiarity for people with a disability

Updates and discussions on the project can be found at http://access.ecs.soton.ac.uk/blog/symboldictionary/



Arabic Symbol Dictionary website http://www.tawasolsymbols.org

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